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The Yankees are still holdouts on extended netting

Friday’s Say Hey, Baseball looks at string and circumstance.

Minnesota Twins v New York Yankees Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Maybe a bunch of high-tech string tied together in a lattice fashion isn’t the most exciting thing in the world as teams fight for playoff berths and division crowns. But as the cameras avoided documenting the gruesome scene of the 2-year-old who had been hit by a screamer off of Todd Frazier’s bat and instead focused on the perturbed players, it was clear that the cause of the preventable tragedy still needs attention.

A day removed from the incident, with the stricken fan still in the hospital, it got that attention. Three teams — the Reds, the Mariners, and the Padres — announced intentions to extend their netting. The Rockies released a statement saying they were looking into the details of extended netting. The Reds, the only of those teams to have worked out the particulars, will extend the netting past Commissioner Manfred’s recommendations before Opening Day 2018.

Manfred, as a part of a press conference at Petco Park, discussed what he described as revamped efforts to extend protective netting, saying he was “really encouraged” by his conversations with teams.

Certain fans have given a million reasons they object to netting. They’re all wrong and neglectful (no, Karen, netting will not obstruct your view), but they give them nonetheless. Like a number of the flaws in MLB, many arguments against, though quieter now amid serious injury, seem to stem from warped ideals of masculinity and weird attachments to nostalgia for a time when lack of regulation or innovation made things less safe. Somehow, wanting 2-year-olds uninjured is the “wussification of America.”

Still, chief among the holdouts are the Yankees. Look, unless there is a spooky net-averse ghost haunting the concourses of Yankee Stadium, there’s nothing that makes adding net unfeasible. Across town, the Mets extended Citi Field’s netting during the All-Star break. Public relations disasters like this one have a history of motivating teams to take action, though.

However, players also led a push for the change, and sometimes without anyone needing to be hospitalized. Freddy Galvis essentially publicly shamed the Phillies into extending Citizens Bank Park netting in Aug. 2016. Players may be the only group with the power and the motivation to get this done in all 30 ballparks, and once that’s done, they could (and should) be the ones to get it done in minor league stadiums, too.

Look no further than what the YES Network cameras showed in the minutes after a 105 MPH line drive struck the little girl for why.